When I prepared this talk for Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY it was with much prayer and careful consideration. This workshop was part of a larger day called, “Spa for the Soul.” Each speaker was to tie their talk to a typical spa treatment. When I was given the list of choices, I knew God was calling me to to share my own story. I chose The Hot Stone Treatment, Overcoming Bitterness and Judgmental Thoughts.
When it came time to prepare the talk, I spent more time and prayer on this one than on any other talk before or since. I wanted to be clear that my journey from being bitter and struggling constantly with ungodly, judgmental thoughts was not of my own doing, but of the Lord. However, I know there were steps that I took (scriptures I prayed over, poured over and cried over) and methods I used, given through God’s word that helped me along the path to overcoming bitterness. Still. God lead me, God chose to heal me, but it was not without great desire and willingness to live differently on my part.
I still repent daily when bitter thoughts sneak into to my mind, echoing past hurts, or replaying current irritations and perceived injuries. I still have occasional judgmental thoughts, but I recognize them and repent quickly so that they are no longer all-consuming. If you would like to hear about my entire journey of Overcoming Bitterness and Judgmental Thoughts, we now offer this workshop as a downloadable mp3 or as an audio CD.
W hen this workshop was shared four times at Southeast Christian Church, I was astounded at the results. Woman after woman came forward and shared her story, her pain, the abuse or otherwise negative background they had suffered and the healing that had taken place. There were women baptized that evening in our church service who told me that for the first time they were able to unlock the bitterness in their lives and take that amazing step. There were marriages healed. Women left that room CHANGED from the inside. For months I received emails or a woman at church would pull me aside in the hall and whisper a thanks, or shed a tear as she talked about how God was working in her own heart.
Recently, I learned that a mom’s group listened to this Audio CD in their group meeting. I heard amazing feedback of an incredible time of sharing and the breaking of the bondage from some of the mothers there.
Every time I hear one of these stories, I am humbled beyond belief and often brought to tears myself. The memory of living all tied up in bitterness and pain is still so real and vivid that I go through the emotions of breaking that chain in a small way when I hear someone else has done the same. The time that was spent in pain, in bitterness and bondage has been redeemed by the Lord and has been put to some small good. I can do nothing but praise Him for His work in my life.